What is Pre-Diabetes?

Also known as Borderline Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes can cause some concern for your health. Here’s what to do if you are concerned about developing Diabetes or becoming Diabetic:

 

Getting tested for Diabetes

What is Pre-Diabetes, and do you need to be worried about it?

Pre-Diabetes, also known as Borderline Diabetes, can be difficult to recognise at first. As a precursor to becoming Diabetic, Pre-Diabetes is a condition your doctor can monitor you for. Most often, Pre-Diabetes develops as a precursor to developing Type 2 Diabetes, and can actually offer a positive turning point to prevent the full onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

Pre-Diabetes is also known as:

  • Impaired fasting glucose.
  • Glucose intolerance.
  • Insulin resistance.

Is Pre-Diabetes linked to high blood sugar?

If your doctor expresses concern that you may have, or diagnoses you with Pre-Diabetes, it means that your blood sugar levels are higher than usual. They’re not, however, high enough for you to be diagnosed as Diabetic. Internally, your pancreas is producing enough insulin to manage your blood glucose levels, but any mention of Pre-Diabetes means that insulin resistance may just be setting in.

Are you at risk of developing Pre-Diabetes?

Many people with Pre-Diabetes report no symptoms or physical changes at all. This doesn’t mean that it appears out of the blue, though, because there are some risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing PreDiabetes. These may include:

  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Having a close family member who has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • Elevated cholesterol levels.
  • High blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

Can a regular check-up reveal Pre-Diabetes?

If you recognise any of the risk factors for developing Pre-Diabetes in yourself, it’s a good idea to include a blood sugar test as part of your regular medical checkup. Your doctor or clinic team may also suggest you undergo a series of blood tests, to ensure you are not yet Diabetic. Despite there being several schools of thought, it’s considered that when your fasted blood glucose level is higher than 6mmol/l on two separate occasions (unrelated tests over time) that you are Pre-Diabetic, but this is just one of a number of indicators.

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How do you treat Pre-Diabetes?

Treating Pre-Diabetes is important because it could prevent you from being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic health condition that cannot be reversed. Current research shows that up to 25% of people with Pre-Diabetes eventually develop Type 2 Diabetes within the next 5 years.

Is it possible to reverse Pre-Diabetes naturally?

Yes, it’s possible to stem the tide of Pre-Diabetes, and prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes. It takes serious thought and a bunch of lifestyle and dietary changes, but it is entirely possible to reverse Pre-Diabetes, in many cases. Ask your doctor or dietician for advice, and he/she will help you create a foundation for healthy living that’ll last you a lifetime.

If you are a gym member, speak to a fitness instructor or start planning your exercise routines with a personal trainer who can understand your body’s needs in more detail. The goal is to reduce your blood sugar levels naturally, so personal trainers and qualified sports science professionals are the best people to speak to about the right activities for achieving this.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. The Surprising Truth About Prediabetes. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/truth-about-prediabetes.html [Accessed 13 November 2020].

Healthline. 2018. Borderline Diabetes: Know The Signs. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/borderline-diabetes-know-the-signs [Accessed 13 November 2020].

Hess-Fischl, A., 2020. What Is Prediabetes? Here’s What You Need To Know. [online] EndocrineWeb. Available at: https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/pre-diabetes/pre-diabetes [Accessed 13 November 2020].

Mayo Clinic. 2020. Prediabetes – Symptoms And Causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355278 [Accessed 13 November 2020].

Medicalnewstoday.com. 2019. Borderline Diabetes (Prediabetes): Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311240 [Accessed 13 November 2020].

WebMD. 2019. Prediabetes (Borderline Diabetes). [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/what-is-prediabetes [Accessed 13 November 2020].

We all have questions.

Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.

Which is worse – Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?

“Worse” is a harsh comparison. The difference between these two types of Diabetes is that Type 1 requires insulin, and it never goes away. Type 2 requires consistent effort and can be managed over your lifetime.

What is the normal HbA1C level?

It is generally accepted that you should maintain HbA1C below 8%. The following guidelines are suggested by the South African Diabetes Association:

 

  • 4 – 6% Non-Diabetic range. 
  • < 7% Well-controlled Diabetic 7% – 8% Acceptable Diabetic control > 8% 
  • Poor Diabetic control needs attention.

What is the main cause of Diabetes?

Diabetes (Type 1) is usually a predisposed or genetically inherited condition. Diabetes (Type 2) is caused by lifestyle choices. Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant mothers.

What are the first signs of Diabetes?

  • Excessive thirst over a prolonged period.
  • Increased frequency in the need to urinate.
  • Significant weight loss or gain.
  • You find yourself fatigued, tired, and irritable, on a regular basis.
  • Open or ruptured wounds take a long time to heal.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Tingling sensations in your hands and feet.

Can you get life insurance if you have Diabetes?

Yes. AllLife can help you get up to R10million life insurance, when you are a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic.

Can I test myself for Diabetes?

Although you can easily test your own blood glucose levels at any time, only your doctor, nurse, or clinic team can confirm your diagnosis as Diabetic. A series of specific tests are required for diagnosis.

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